Gucci is the latest high-end brand to be rapped over the knuckles about its use of excessively thin models with Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority banning an ad (that’s no longer running anyway) in which the model’s waist looks minuscule and her make-up adds to the gaunt, wasted look.
The ad appeared on the Times website and Gucci seems to feel hard-done-by after the ruling, saying the issue of whether a model looks unhealthily thin or not is a “subjective issue”.
To be honest, what gets me about this ad isn’t the thin model or a gaunt face (believe me, there are much worse examples out there in the luxury space) but the fact that Gucci said it advertised on the Times website provided an “adult and mature” readership.
Quite what brands are doing targeting adult and mature readers with models who almost look pre-pubescent is beyond me.
That said, I don’t completely agree with the ASA on this one. I don’t think the make-up made her look gaunt and while the pose may have accentuated her thin build, that girl would look very thin however she stood or sat.
Also, another shot from the campaign showing a seated model was passed as acceptable.
Gucci countered the ASA ruling saying it felt the model looked “toned and slim”, that the make-up was kept light and that the model’s bones weren’t visible.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I do feel rather like we’re arguing over tiny details here and missing the real point. High fashion brands still glorify the ultra-skinny and patting yourself on the back for not showing jutting bones doesn’t add up to promoting a healthy body image. The ASA meanwhile, in responding to just a single complaint and issuing nit-picking rulings like this isn’t really doing anything to stop the industry’s love affair with ‘size zero’.